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Pakistan-China experts jointly preserve Upper Indus rock paintings corridor
  ·  2023-11-13  ·   Source: The Daily Mail, Pakistan

A joint China-Pakistan archaeological survey team led by Chongqing Normal University for the project of conserving the Upper Indus Rock Painting Corridor held its opening ceremony in Bahawalpur on November 6. 

In a groundbreaking collaboration, the joint effort aims to preserve and promote the region's rich cultural heritage while fostering international cooperation in the field of archaeology. The corridor of Buddhist rock paintings and Chinese inscriptions on the Upper Indus is not only an extremely valuable historical and cultural heritage of the local people but also belongs to all mankind. These rock paintings were left behind by various travelers, traders, pilgrims, and ancient inhabitants of the area who passed along the trade routes, and date back as early as between 5000 B.C. and A.D. 1000, providing valuable insights into the lives and beliefs of the ancient civilizations that once thrived in the area. 

Recognizing the significance of this cultural treasure, the Chinese and Pakistani governments have collaborated to ensure the preservation of these ancient artworks. 

The joint initiative brings together experts from institutions and universities of both countries including Chongqing Normal University, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Lanzhou University, Pakistan Higher Education Commission Corridor Authority, University of Bahawalpur, Punjab Archaeology Department, and others. Multiple units from Chongqing will also actively participate in the project, providing technical and logistical support for the archaeological work. 

The project team will carry out a three-year field investigation and survey to comprehensively investigate and protect major sites and artifacts in the project area, and conduct academic seminars, personnel training, achievement presentations, and other work. 

Furthermore, the project also includes capacity-building initiatives where local communities are actively involved in the conservation efforts. By engaging the local population, the project aims to create awareness about the meaning of the rock paintings and foster a sense of ownership and responsibility among the community members. 

Conservation efforts in the Upper Indus Rock Painting Corridor are expected to have a major impact on the tourism potential of the area. 

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